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Pride

Why It's Okay If You Don't Want to Go to Pride

Why It's Okay If You Don't Want to Go to Pride

Why It's Okay If You Don't Want to Go to Pride

It's just not for everyone.

RachelCharleneL

It’s Pride season, which means it’s pretty impossible to be a part of the LGBT+ community and not be aware of the bustle of the massive event that is the Pride parade. It’s a huge thing that requires loads of pre-planning, from what you’re going to wear to who you’re going to go with to what you should actually do when you get there. But there’s one question that some people forget about: what if you don’twant to go to Pride?

There’s a variety of reasons why people choose not to go to Pride parades, and despite our love for the vibrancy and celebration of the event (and the dozens that lead up to and follow the main parade), we totally understand why some people end up staying away.

They’re shy.

Pride is crowded. Last year’s Pride Parade in San Francisco was estimated to have over a million people in attendance. It’s hard to even conceptualize that many people. If you’re someone who’s freaked out by being surrounded by loads and loads of people you don’t know, Pride is probably going to be closer to a definite hell than the heaven it is for the extroverts of the world. 

They’re modest.

Straight up, some people just don’t like seeing a bunch of people with hardly any clothes on. If you’re down to toss on pasties and to walk around in rainbow thongs, more power to you. But some people aren’t interested in seeing other people’s bodies, and they find it hard to be surrounded by what is sometimes thousands of naked people. 

They don’t like the capitalist side of Pride.

It would be a lie to act like businesses don’t profit off of Pride. Brands slap rainbows on their products and suddenly they’re flying off the shelves. Some businesses are truly committed to educating the public and donating their money to important LGBT+ organizations, but it’s hard not to feel like some are only in it for the business, the easy marketing, and the money.

They don’t drink.

There’s a whole lot of alcohol at Pride, and in many cases, loads of the pre- and post-parade activities are based around bar hopping and drinking. If you’re sober, or if you just don’t like being around alcohol, it can be a little awkward to be around a bunch of hammered people pushing you to drink. Considering the numbers of LGBT people who struggle with alcoholism, the presence of alcohol at Pride parades (and in queer spaces on a regular basis) is something we should probably question more than we do.

The protesters freak them out.

When I went to my first Pride parade (in ye old North Carolina), I was overwhelmed with the amount of love and respect I was feeling. So many people were celebrating us, and were celebrating with us, and it was thrilling. At the same time, though, I was freaked out by the protestors. It was weird to be in a space where I was encouraged and free to be open, but was also at times face-to-face with people who were so angry about me being happy about who I was that they took hours out of their day to yell at us.

At the end of the day, no matter why you choose not to go to Pride, your choice is valid. You can always have a mini Pride of your own with a little bit of queer Netflix and your LGBT #squad.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Rachel Charlene Lewis

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a writer, editor, and queer woman of color based in North Carolina. Her writing has most recently appeared in Ravishly, Hello Giggles, and elsewhere.

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a writer, editor, and queer woman of color based in North Carolina. Her writing has most recently appeared in Ravishly, Hello Giggles, and elsewhere.